How to Cut Polymer Clay with the Cricut

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A while ago my pal Lisa Pavelka was showing off her fabulous Pardo Jewellry Clay by Viva Decor at CHA Winter 2011- it’s so flexible after baking, you can actually use a paper punch to cut it! So I got to thinking- why not cut it with a Cricut? I played around a bit, and actually got it to work. Here’s how you do it.

Condition your clay well- I actually used scrap clay from various projects, so it’s a mish-mash of Pardo, Sculpey and Premo. (PS- I tried this later with straight-up Premo & it did not work as well as the mixed clay.) Roll it through a pasta machine (yes, you kinda need one for this) until it’s at it’s thinnest setting. Then place the clay on a sheet of deli-wrap and roll it through again. Do this carefully-make sure there are no bubbles or huge wrinkles- because you’ll bake the clay on this sheet.

Bake your clay. Watch it carefully- it’s so thin it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so! Remove the deli paper as quickly as you can. It likes to stick if it cools fully. (That’s not a problem, though- you can just use a scrubbie to remove the excess paper that has stuck on.)

Fully cured, the sheet will be flexible.

Get ready to cut. Using blue painter’s tape, secure your sheet of clay to the mat. Set your cutting guide to “heavy paper” if you have an E2, or use {speed:5 pressure:5 depth:2} if you don’t. And for both, I recommend the multi-cut feature and have it cut TWICE.

There she goes!

First Attempts

You may need to go back over it a bit with a craft blade, but I’m still pretty impressed with the results!

Done with layers.

I have also written a follow-up article on what brands of polymer clays are best for making the thin sheets of clay, or “veneers”, for using with punches and both manual and electric die-cutting machines. That may help you out, too.

Now to play with different ways to use it. Ideas, anyone? : )

If you are considering purchasing a Cricut, I’d appreciate it if you used my affiliate links:

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About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

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22 Responses to “How to Cut Polymer Clay with the Cricut”

  1. Jaleh Says:

    That is really cool! I’ll have to keep that idea in mind if I ever buy a Cricut.

  2. Laura Says:

    That looks like fun! Jewelry … embellishments … the possibilities are endless! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Caroline D. Says:

    Wow! I am impressed!! Makes me want to get a cricut….

  4. Elaine Akers Says:

    What number did you use on your Cricut to cut the clay?

  5. Jenny Says:

    Elaine- Not sure which “number” you needed, but the Cricut settings are the body of the post. :)

  6. Elaine Akers Says:

    Jenny..thanks, I scanned the article quickly and apparently I missed the settings info. I reread the article, and definately will be trying this. I mentioned this article on my blog. Hope others try this too..so many possibilities.

  7. Kelsey Says:

    Would be great with the Doodlecharms cartridge.

  8. Jan Says:

    Great minds think alike. I recently bought the smalle personalized cricuit and a blade made for heavier cutting with the same idea in mind. Haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but I have used the heavier punches on clay. This doesn’t always work, I think it depends on the clays thickness and hardness. I’ll keep trying and can’t wait to try the cricuit.

  9. mel mccarthy Says:

    This is such a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing it! I’ve had polymer clay on the brain lately…

  10. Jenny Says:

    Late breaking news: I experimented with 3 brands of polymer clay today: Pardo, Premo, and Sculpey 3. The Sculpey by FAR worked the best with the Cricut. I’ll have a full post on that comparison coming soon, but I thought you all would want to know right now.

  11. MsJoyceG Says:

    Yikes .. I like, I like .. yep I like. TFS

  12. Molly Says:

    I wonder if this would work with my electric Sizzix machine.
    Maybe I will have to expermint.

  13. Jenny Says:

    Molly- not sure what an “electric Sizzix” is, but YES, you can use with manual dies in a Cuttlebug/ Big Shot. Watch soon for my post on comparisons of clay in making veneers…. ; )

  14. Amyscats Says:

    I’ve been wanting to try cutting polymer clay with my Cricut, figured they’d come out with one dedicated to it eventually, like the cake version. Wasn’t sure if I should bake it first or not – but it seemed to make sense to bake it first. You’ve saved me the experimentation! Can’t wait to try it.

  15. Linda Says:

    You say that when using Pardo, Sculpey and Premo that you should bake it first before cutting. I wonder if Fimo should be baked first, as I know when putting it through paper punches you normally punch with Fimo in its unbaked state.
    I have tried fimo in the cuttlebug – unbaked – between two pieces of aluminum foil and using a cuttlebug die but it wasn’t all that successful.

  16. Jenny Says:

    I would highly recommend curing ALL brands of clay before using them in an electric die cutting machine. Cured clay had the stiffness necessary to allow the blade to cut cleanly without “dragging” Worst-case scenario is that raw clay could crumble or goo up the innards, making a mess inside and rendering your machine unusable for paper-or anything else!

  17. Sabine Spiesser Says:

    Don’t try this with a Silhouette, the blades would not last long if they even do one design. It has enough issues with transparency sheets. You would need a custom holder and blades.

  18. Guccigirl08723 Says:

    I tried this and as I suspected…it didn’t even come close to cutting the clay! And yes I used a clay machine and yes it was the thinnest setting. I also followed the rest of the instructions.,using the strongest settings possible..but all it did was make a VERY light indention..I’m disappointed as I had hoped it would have worked, but again..didn’t really think it would.

  19. Jenny Says:

    Two things to try- 1) roll your pasta through the machine with a layer of deli wrap to make the clay even thinner (not all pasta machines roll thin enough for this) and then, after it’s baked, 2) use the deep-cut blade that they have available. It worked for me, more than once, so it’s not a fluke. Good luck!

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